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      The What, the Why, and the How of Idea Management

      Jan 24, 2023

      5 minute read

      The generation of innovative ideas from user-generated content is the key to the success of any business. It can lead to business growth, improved product quality, and stellar customer experience.

      The global idea management software market was standing at USD 776.03 million in 2019 and is expected to touch USD 1.99 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 12.53%[i]. In fact, according to McKinsey[ii], 84% of CEOs believe that innovation is critical to growth. The growing innovation across the world especially in the corporate world is the major driving factor of the market.

      If you prefer using Salesforce-powered communities to generate and manage ideas, you’re all equipped to drive innovation. Modern businesses realize the importance of idea management in the development of new services and products using various idea management tools to drive innovation.

      And to maximize the use of your Salesforce-powered community, you can use IdeasPro. It is a Salesforce-native application that provides high-end flexibility and helps you increase user engagement.

      In this blog post, we’ll talk about the what, the why, and the how of idea management. We’ll also discuss how effective idea management enables businesses to respond to external or internal opportunities to launch new processes, ideas, and products.

      So, let’s dive right in!

      Idea Management Vs. Innovation Management

      One of the notable differences between idea management and innovation management is the scope. While they both present opportunities to grow a business, here are a few points that will help you understand the difference.

      • Idea management is an indispensable part of innovation management. Innovation management is a vast, encompassing strategy, and idea management is just one of the wheels in this system that drives innovation.
      • Innovation management is the vehicle for powering business growth, while idea management is like the engine that provides the force that moves the vehicle.
      • In idea management, the key focus is on how to stimulate, stir, and generate innovative ideas that will impact and enhance already existing business models, products, and services. On the other hand, innovation management emphasizes the strategies that are employed for the generation and development of entirely new products, services, or business processes.

      Why is Idea Management Important?

      Continuous innovation and idea generation can lead to market leadership. However, it requires a continuous stream of ideas. But those ideas are of no use if they are scattered in emails, notes, and spreadsheets. You need a streamlined way to gather and assess suggestions for your strategic direction. It is the process of capturing, evaluating, and prioritizing requests and feedback. Idea management is important because you can:

      • Build customer loyalty and belongingness toward your business.
      • Engage customers and community members in the evaluation and development of ideas.
      • Enable customers to submit, track, select, and vote for ideas to tap into the collective wisdom of your community.
      • Right from the idea capturing to execution, showcase the ideation process, and foster innovation to build a sustainable business.
      • Build a database of carefully categorized ideas and browse through this repository to gain an understanding of solving the problem.

      Best Practices for Internal Idea Management Process

      A well-planned process for generating, managing, and implementing ideas gives new opportunities that otherwise might have been missed. Here are some of the best practices that you can follow for your internal idea management process.


      1. Decide on the Right Process

      To successfully plan an ideation process, you need to look at it holistically, not simply as the third stage of design thinking. Businesses mainly use one of the following idea management processes:

      Centralized: Ideas are collected from the members and employees in a transparent manner. A strategic group of people has a decisive vote on what happens to the ideas, which ones are implemented, and how.

      Decentralized: In this process, ideas are managed separately by each group, without a strategic decision-making group that has to give approval.

      Hybrid: This process is a combination of the two methods above.

      Irrespective of the process in place, it is crucial to communicate to the entire organization the goal of the chosen process, how it works in practice, how will everyone contribute, and what’s in it for them.

      2. Build Collaborative Processes

      Innovation is all about collaboration. Groundbreaking products and services are the results of various creative minds coming together, building on one another’s knowledge, and connecting the dots to add more layers to the original idea. Collaborating and explaining why you are doing what you are doing and why they should care, takes into account their intrinsic motivations as well. So, bringing together committed and motivated people will benefit the idea lifecycle.

      3. Plan for Transparent Ideation Processes

      By creating a transparent ecosystem that facilitates the free and open sharing of ideas in a safe space, you enable as many people as possible to get involved. A different point of view needs to be amplified while leveraging the brand’s diversity. And this is possible in a transparent ideation process that encourages everyone to be a part of the program.

      4. Make Better Decisions by Implementing an Idea Evaluation Process

      When it comes to important decisions that involve novel ideas like new products or changes that can have a big impact, evaluating these ideas can turn into a bottleneck. Big enterprises typically require detailed business calculations and projections before making decisions. Planning an ideation process will help you communicate clear metrics that reflect the various dimensions of an idea. Evaluating ideas is a constant effort that needs to be well-planned and organized. A good idea management tool can help you keep your ideas organized and automate many manual tasks.

      Idea Management in Practice – A Brief Look

      Now that we’ve established the best practices for idea management, let’s take a look at each of the steps that together make up idea management.

      • Generating & Collecting Ideas: Start brainstorming ideas with teams and try to run an idea challenge with an online tool for generating ideas.
      • Evaluating & Prioritizing Ideas: Evaluate the ideas on defined metrics and turn evaluation into scores to help prioritize those ideas.
      • Validating and Testing Ideas: Test and validate ideas with low-cost prototypes and validate the biggest assumptions and the most uncertain aspect of ideas instead of building them outright.
      • Implementing Ideas: As a general rule of thumb, it typically makes sense to implement incremental or sustaining ideas in existing business units whereas the most disruptive ideas often require independent units.

      The Bottom Line

      Idea management is the heart and soul of an organization’s innovation activities as it plays a key role in how effectively the organization is able to drive future results. Ideas coming from a Salesforce-powered community can be really useful if implemented correctly. However, the standard Ideas component on Salesforce Experience Cloud do not have some features natively present in it. That’s where a custom idea management solution like IdeasPro comes into the picture.

      It is an advanced version of the standard Ideas component in Salesforce Experience Cloud that redefines idea management and is supported in both Classic and Lightning Experience. With advanced features and its compatibility with Salesforce LEX, it makes idea management a whole lot easier and more efficient.

      Ready to Manage Ideas Effectively on Salesforce-Powered Communities With IdeasPro? Talk to Us!

      If you’d want to know more about all the amazing things you can do with IdeasPro, just drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you!

      Statistics References

      [i] Verified Market Research
      [ii] Mckinsey

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